On a day that started with 20 players in red figures just 10 remained under par at the end of Friday, Americans Luke List and Jamie Lovemark leading the way at 3-under-par.
Only eight golfers returned scores under the par of 70 Friday, List’s 66 the best by a shot and one of only three scores in the 60’s among the leading 10 players.
Tiger Woods signed for a 1-over 71 to be T14 while the two Australians in the field, Adam Scott and Greg Chalmers, both made the cut on the number at 5-over.
Scott added a 2-over 72 to his opening 73 while Chalmers negotiated the difficult Jack Nicklaus design in one shot less to be at the same total.
After a disastrous run through the famed ‘Bear Trap’ yesterday Scott escaped relatively unscathed Friday with a bogey at the par-3 15th his only blemish.
Woods, however, couldn’t manage the same and after sending the Florida crowds into raptures by making the turn 1-under for the day and inside the top 10 he produced his worst swing of the day at the worst possible hole.
A flared iron into the water short right of the 15th green led to a double bogey and he followed with another dropped shot at the next.
But the former World Number One, who said his play yesterday was his best since returning to the Tour at Torrey Pines, proved his resilience with one of the best shots of the day at the brutal par-3 17th.
The hole had already claimed 37 water balls by the time Woods arrived at the tee and boasted a scoring average of four, higher than the par-4 first.
Woods, though, rifled a 5-iron into a strong headwind that settled some 12 feet from the hole and displayed vintage Woods calm in rolling in the putt.
Despite a disappointing par at the par-5 last the 14-time major winner was again pleased with his day’s work as he heads to the weekend just four shots from the lead.
“I made two bad swings and they cost me three shots there at 15 and 16,” he said.
“Overall it was a good grind out there. It was tough. It was tough to make putts out there but the key is to keep hitting the ball on the green and keep giving myself looks at it and I did that most of the day.”
Woods said the famed ‘Bear Trap’ holes were playing particularly difficult but he was happy with his birdie at the 17th.
“Any kind of mis-hit shot is going to get accentuated by the wind,” he said of the finishing loop. “And they’re difficult golf shots.
“17 was a tough shot because I was right in between clubs. After watching Sneds (Brandt Snedeker) hit 5-iron there the wind laid down and 5 was too much.
“So I took something off of it, kind of chipped a 5 in there and it worked out good and I hit a good putt.”
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